Republican National Committee Raises Thresholds For Second Sanctioned Debate

The Republican National Committee is increasing some thresholds for presidential candidates who hope to qualify for the party’s second sanctioned debate in California on September 27.

According to new criteria, candidates will need to reach at least 3% in two national polls, or 3% in one national poll and 3% in two polls conducted from separate early nominating states; these include Iowa, New Hampshire, South Caroline and Nevada.

These requirements are more challenging than those for the first debate on August 23, where candidates only need to poll at least 1% in three national polls or 1% in two national polls, and 1% in two early-state polls.

In addition, the committee has raised the fundraising requisites for each candidate to qualify for the second debate. The presidential hopefuls must have a total of 50,000 unique donors, with at least 200 unique donors from at least 20 states or territories.


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The fundraising benchmark for the first debate is much lower, as candidates only need 40,000 unique donors with at least 200 unique donors per each of the 20 states or territories.

The second debate will adhere to the pledge requirements of the first debate, which demand that all candidates agree to support the eventual Republican nominee and not participate in any non-committee-sanctioned debates.

The new criteria could drastically reduce the number of candidates eligible to appear on the debate stage in September. Those who have already qualified for the first Republican debate include Donald Trump, North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Vivek Ramaswamy, Sen. Tim Scott (South Carolina), former U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley, former Vice President Mike Pence and former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson.

Ava Lombardi

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